Protecting our ministry

The coronavirus crisis has hit many organisations and individuals hard, and it seems likely we will face an economic downturn for at least the rest of this year. In this challenging climate, our church council (PCC) has put together a plan to weather the storm. We are so grateful for our church members, who continue to give so generously to our work.
By taking some decisive action now, we hope to safeguard our work in the months ahead. Our actions include:

  • Furloughing our cleaner and our two office staff until the end of lockdown, as their jobs are not viable.
  • Postponing our annual staff pay rise, which was scheduled for April.
  • Allowing funds set aside for local mission work but not yet allocated to be used for essential church ministry.
  • Postponing the purchase of new laptops for staff.
  • Rescheduling maintenance work on our building so that only urgent work is undertaken this year.
  • Applying to the Diocese of Guildford for financial aid which they are generously making available.
  • Planning a Thanksgiving Sunday when restrictions are lifted, to enable people to give to our ministry and our mission partners at a time when everyone’s financial prospects should be clearer. (This will replace Making Mission Possible, which was scheduled for May.)
  • Releasing a small amount from our reserves, as we have a surplus over and above what we need. 

These actions have been informed by scenario planning from our finance team, which looked at bad and worse-case scenarios involving a drop in giving. At present we are not seeing this, but we also have opportunities like the government’s furlough scheme (which pays 80% of an employee’s salary while they are furloughed) which are unlikely to be available later in the year. We have looked at a variety of more drastic measures which we do not need to action at present, but which we will revisit if circumstances change.
Our office will continue to be manned virtually, with phone messages and mail being picked up and emails responded to by members of our staff team. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Mark, Sarah, Bekah or any member of our PCC.

Mark Wallace, 29/04/2020